Kudla Cricketer K L Rahul Sets Record in Zimbabwe
Mangaluru: Promising Mangaluru-born cricketer Kannur Lokesh Rahul made the city in particular and the country in general proud by getting into the record books as the first Indian to register a century on his maiden ODI appearance on Saturday.
That this feat was achieved in a foreign land adds significance to the record. The Harare ground was a new terrain for him. The team led by M S Dhoni did not have stalwarts. The target of 168 set by Zimbabwe appeared easy to reach in 50 overs, though.
India suffered an early setback by losing Karun Nair, who made only 7 runs. Rahul had to give the initial push, yet he played cautiously with Ambati Rayudu partnering with him.
As both of them raced ahead past their half centuries, especially with Rayudu cutting loose steadily, it looked as if the target would be reached before Rahul could hit the hundred landmark.
He completed his unbeaten century in 115 deliveries, with 7 fours and a sixer. Interestingly, that was the only six of the innings. He and Nair put up a partnership of 162 for the second wicket that helped India win the first ODI.
Rahul had hit a classy knock of a triple century in Ranji Trophy last year. His 337 helped Karnataka to pile up a mammoth total of 719 against Uttar Pradesh at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru.
After the ODI on Saturday, Rahul said that he was happy about his knock, an unbeaten one at that. He came to know about his record only when the team manager informed him about it after the match.
He, Nair and Yazvendra Chahal, who were among the prominent stars in IPL matches in recent years, made their debut in ODI at Harare. Curiously enough, in 2010 too, three youngsters – Pankaj Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin and Naman Ojha – had made their ODI debut at the same ground, but against Sri Lanka.
All the six of them have made their mark in various formats and are being regarded as the future pillars of Team India.